Tag Archives: Civil war

Is U.S. Segregation Leading Us to Being the 2040 Ukraine?

The United States has lessons to learn to avoid being the 2040 Ukraine.

Strong parallels exist between the stories in my first two books and the situation playing out in Ukraine today, so much so that a reader teased me yesterday that I had provided Putin’s playbook. Several parallels are particularly concerning.

Russia seeks to expand its territory to include more ethnic Russians ✔

In my books, Mexico is part of a coalition working to annex Southwest U.S. territory heavily populated by Mexican Americans and Mexicans. (The book is not an anti-immigrant or anti-Mexican rant, so you’ll need to read to understand the full context.)

Speakers of minority Russian language considered “oppressed” ✔

Schools in the Southwest and other parts of the country are increasingly teaching in all-day Spanish, including at the community college level. Not expecting immigrants to learn English is increasingly being advocated as a civil rights issue, when it is instead a path to another layer of societal segregation on top of our existing segregation issues.  Segregated societies are historically ripe for secession and annexation efforts.

Geographic concentration of Russian speakers provides clear starting point for invasion ✔

There are already several U.S. areas where speaking Spanish is critical to finding employment and fluency in English is not necessary. The scope of these territories is expanding.

Several internal political leaders in Crimea welcome invasion ✔

Too many political leaders focus on their own self-interest. For many in Crimea, the opportunities for political and economic gains may be greater under Russia than under Ukraine. It is certainly conceivable that we will have U.S. politicians who think they’ll have more power if the nation divides.

Weakened, indebted economy in Ukraine undermines border protection resolve and economic response options ✔

My distaste for our high and growing debt levels is driven, in part, by my belief that it substantially restricts our crisis response options. Ukraine’s response options are highly restricted by both Russia’s military superiority and Ukraine’s tenuous economic circumstances.

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10 Desirable “Unbelievably Small” Outcomes

Secretary of State John Kerry commented today that a military strike against Syria would be “unbelievably small.”  Kerry has to know that “unbelievably small” does not describe any successful military strike. This phrase does, however, describe a number of desirable government outcomes.

Here’s my short list:

  1. Unbelievably small federal debt
  2. Unbelievably small poverty rate
  3. Unbelievably small unemployment rate
  4. Unbelievably small political contribution limits
  5. Unbelievably small number of people entering the nation illegally
  6. Unbelievably small number of eligible food stamp recipients
  7. Unbelievably small high school dropout rate
  8. Unbelievably small number of drug addicts
  9. Unbelievably small college tuition bills, and
  10. Unbelievably small crime rate.

There are plenty of others, but I’ll stop there. In Secretary Kerry’s defense, his unscripted comment that America might not need to act if Syria gives up its chemical weapons may have stumbled on a better solution to the crisis than any previously suggested.

Six Questions Syria Raises for America’s Future

Syria’s collapse into ethnic and religious civil war carries with it lessons for the United States perhaps far more important than current missile-launch debates.

Two lessons are critical:

  • Segregated societies can be divided easily, just as Syria is being torn between Sunnis, Alawites, Christians, Kurds and other religious sects in their different geographic strongholds.
  • Politicians who exploit divisions, or fail to heal wounds of divisions, can quickly turn nations into bleeding grounds.

After substantial advances toward racial integration in recent generations, progress has halted in many parts of America and even moved toward re-segregation in many regions by race, ethnicity and, recently, language.

Syria reminds us that we need to answer different questions beyond those being debated today in order to create a more unified society. Following are six questions particularly worthy of introspection and debate:

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Egypt’s Deadly Lessons on Religious Diversity

Deadly violence in Egypt, escalating in recent days, raises critical questions about what happens when religion and government intertwine. America’s founders purposely prevented the imposition of a national religion, while also making clear that the United States would operate as “one nation under God.”

Were they right to separate government from a specific religion? Does it make sense for our government to maintain a connection to God, though without a single national religion?

Basing my thoughts on reviewing history, I conclude that belief in a superior being who holds us accountable for our actions is critical to the long-term survival, prosperity and decency of a nation. It is also clear, however, that single-religion nations are a particular threat to global peace. Reviewing the deadliest incidents of man-made violence throughout history supports my view that America’s founders had the balance right. Continue reading

Are We Becoming Greece or Argentina?

The attached opinion piece by a noted historian points out challenges America is creating for itself with its continued divisive political culture. The most critical point:  it is the poor and middle class who truly suffer when we follow policies with a history of proven failure. Nations divided – whether by economic class, race, ethnicity or language – end up with violence on the streets.


Laitin, Language Policy and Civil War

In the upcoming book, Melting Point 2040, a lead character is identified as holding the David Laitin named professorship at the University of Chicago. While every other character  is fictional, Stanford University Professor David Laitin is not. Professor Laitin, formerly a University of Chicago professor, is a recognized expert on the role of language, religion and ethnicity on national survival. His research, much done with other academics, is interesting for its conclusions about the ability of multi-cultural societies to survive. His findings are reassuring for multi-cultural societies like the United States, India and others, but the concepts do encounter challenge. My concerns are informed by looking at national boundaries over centuries and millennia rather than within a single century. Through history, few strongly multi-cultural societies lasted more than several hundred years. To ensure survival for 1,000 years or more (without more civil war), it’s critical to understand what triggers civil wars and then avoid these conditions. For more, I recommend http://www.ninetymeetingsinninetydays.com/Civil_War.html for an overview and http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/etes/documents/12.Laitin.pdf for a more detailed look at the role of language on national survival. As an aside, who came up with the name for civil wars? The word “civil” is out of place.